Mayor’s affordable housing plan on the agenda for 12th Ave Arts community meeting

IMG_3672-400x267Now that Mayor Ed Murray’s blue ribbon panel has volunteered many grueling hours to create an affordable housing plan for the city, it’s time for some citizen contribution.

On Thursday, officials from the mayor’s office will be leading a meeting at 12th Avenue Arts to discuss the recommendations of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda Committee and gather feedback on the proposals. The meeting comes at the request of the Capitol Hill Community Council, which is hosting the event starting at 6:30 PM.

Welcome & Introductions
HALA Background & Info
HALA Summary
Q & A
Small Groups/Feedback Gathering

We will be joined by Emily Alvarado and Leslie Price of the Mayor’s office, as well as Nicole from DESC (we are still working on more folks!)

In order to meet his call to create 20,000 affordable units over the next decade, Murray convened his affordability panel earlier this year.

Murray and the HALA committee unveiled their 60+ recommendation plan in July, which included requirements to build affordable units in new developments and a fee on commercial development to fund more affordable housing. One provision that would’ve allowed for more backyard cottages and accessory dwelling units in single family home zones drew a considerable amount of criticism (and hyperbole), causing Murray to drop it from the plan. Continue reading

12th Ave communal development residents plan Rooftop Farm to showcase urban agriculture

original_ground-breakingThe neighbors of 12th Ave’s Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing where each resident is an equal member of the company that owns the project are watching their building rise on the street where ground was broken on their communal development last fall.

As construction reaches the fourth floor, the group is launching a crowdfunding campaign to create a rooftop garden for the project as a community exhibition of hyperlocal farming involving Seattle Central Community College’s Sustainable Agriculture program:

Through outreach and partnership, it is our goal to use this farm to benefit our surrounding community as much as possible. We expect the programs we set up to evolve and expand as the farm becomes more established. In our first year the farm will be managed by volunteers and interns from Seattle Central Community College’s Sustainable Agriculture program. We plan to lead free monthly tours for the public, and education workshops for children. We also plan to have an outreach stand at the Capitol Hill Farmers Market in order to share our project with the larger community. We will sell a portion of our organic produce to neighboring restaurant, Lark, in order to cover the cost of operating year-round. We will also donate produce to neighboring food banks or meal programs. We will establish and nourish partnerships with other interested restaurants and organization in our community.

The Rooftop Farm will serve the building’s residents but they are hoping with community support to make the project into a larger vision. “As one of Seattle’s fastest-growing and most densely populated neighborhoods, Capitol Hill provides a unique opportunity for us to grow together through urban farming expansion, awareness and education,” they write. “The intent of our farm in the city is to educate local children, and the general public, about the benefits of hyper-local food production, to demonstrate what a successful year-round organic rooftop farm looks like, and to act as a catalyst for the creation of a Capitol Hill food network—one which will connect neighbors, local restaurants, and local organizations around local food production.”

The goal is $10,000. As of Friday morning, nearly $4,000 has been raised.

You can learn more and give on The Rooftop Farm Barnraiser page.

CHS Pics | 12th Ave hosts the Epic Durational Performance Festival

Adam Sekuler's work got the 2015 festival started (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Adam Sekuler’s work got the 2015 festival started (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

IMG_2283IMG_2292The Yellow Fish Epic Durational Performance Festival is currently taking place at Seattle University’s Hedreen Gallery. Organized since 2013 by Seattle-based artist Alice Gosti, it is one of the only festivals dedicated to durational performance in the world.

Durational performance can be defined as “a [art] form through which TIME is manifested in its original (natural) purity and brought to the forefront as pivotal to the experience.” Basically, it is an artistic performance that takes much longer than the standard two hours.

Yellow Fish performances can be a little out of the ordinary. Last year, one performance consisted of two women “submerged in an inflatable kiddie pool” for more than five hours, with a wolf hide suspended above them dripping pig blood into the water. This year’s festival kicked off last week with a performance spanning three days. Artist Adam Sekuler, a Seattleite living in Colorado, spent this time leading a communal mourning for the “buildings, organizations, and stores that we have lost in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, according to Gosti.

In spite of its unusual genre, or because of it, the Yellow Fish festival has been pretty successful. Last year the festival attracted artists from across the United States and as far away as London. This year, due to budget constraints, the festival has featured mostly local artists, but Gosti says attendance has been “really good.” The festival has also raised more than six thousand dollars through the crowdfunding campaign CHS reported on last week.

Yellow Fish is scheduled to take place daily through August 6th. The majority of the performances will take place at the Hedreen Gallery and a few will be held at the local venues such as the Velocity Dance Center and 10 degrees.

The planned 2015 lineup is below:

it is just the beginning and it may last forever
July 8th to August 5th, 2015 at The Hedreen Gallery
Runn Shayo (New York)
Pol Rosenthal
Pol Budraitis
LIMITS (Corrie Befort and Jason E Anderson)
Megumi Shauna Arai
Juan Franco
Brace Evans
MKNZ Porritt
Laura Curry and Lori Dillon
Jody Kuehner
Ryan Vinson
Adam Sekuler
Keith White
Mother Tongue (kt Shores and Angelina Baldoz_
A K Mimi Allin
and special guests…

Official schedule and specific locations will be posted soon on Yellow Fish // Epic Durational Performance Festival.

Four-story near Seattle U, four-story near Broadway Hill, four-story… everywhere

She's enjoying life at 1305 E Marion

She’s enjoying life, he’s still figuring it out at 1305 E Marion

Two more of those pesky four-story apartment buildings are slated to take the final step in the design review process Wednesday night. Information on the infill projects near Seattle U and Broadway Hill Park — plus a bonus item on an “administrative design review” later this week for a project at 10th and Aloha that inspired one of the best anti-development letters we’ve ever seen — below.

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 7.08.34 PM1305 E Marion
Land Use Application to allow a 4-story structure containing 18 residential units and storage for 14 bicycles. No parking will be provided. Existing single family residence to be removed — View Design Proposal  (7 MB)    

Review Meeting: July 8, 2015 6:30 pm — Seattle University, 824 12th Ave , Admissions & Alumni Community Building
Review Phase: REC–Recommendation  See All Reviews
Project Number: 3018035  View Permit Status  |  View Land Use Notice
Planner: Carly Guillory

This project just a block from Seattle U will trade an old apartment building and a single family home for a new apartment building with a planned 18 studio units. Continue reading

Centered at 12th Ave’s Hedreen Gallery, Yellow Fish — Epic Durational Performance Festival starts this week

It won’t take much to help one of the only art performance festivals of its kind grow in independence for its third edition slated to start later this week at 12th Ave’s Hedreen Gallery.

The Yellow Fish — Epic Durational Performance Festival is only a few hundred dollars from its $6,000 goal to create a third year of “performances lasting a minimum of an hour and a maximum of 48 hours” — you can make your contribution here:

Artists from all over the world have been invited to perform at all moments of day and night. In its third year, the festival will have a monthlong run, made possible thanks to newly-created partnerships with Northwest Film Forum, Velocity Dance Center, Studio Current and New Tomorrow. Artifacts from all of the performances will accumulate at the Hedreen Gallery, where most of the festival’s events will take place.

“As the festival has grown exponentially since the two years of its creation, the costs have also increased. This year we were unable to receive any of the funding we had received in the prior editions,” organizer and artist Alice Gosti explains.

The festival is free to attend — so you might consider your donation a kind of spiritual downpayment for your free ticket.

The planned 2015 lineup is below: Continue reading

High 5 Pie says goodbye to Capitol Hill, Mighty-O says hell-O

(Image: Mighty-O)

(Image: Mighty-O)

Mighty-O is bringing its classic Seattle organic and vegan-friendly donuts to Capitol Hill. But first we’ll have to finish our pie.

Capitol Hill food and drink entrepreneur Dani Cone announced Thursday that her five-year-old High 5 Pie has outgrown its original home at 12th and Madison and is “moving into a fantastic commercial production kitchen with our eyes on making even more pies and coming up with places to serve them to you.” The last day for High 5 Pie in the Trace Lofts building is being planned for July 19th.

The move, Cone said, will open the way for Mighty-O to create what will be its third shop in Seattle. Its second shop is planned to open in Ballard later this month. The original Mighty-O stands in Wallingford’s “historic Keystone building” just above Green Lake.

Apparently, Cone and Mighty-O’s Ryan Kellner go way back:

Old pals Ryan Kellner and Dani Cone first met when Ryan started Mighty-O and would deliver the donuts each morning to Caffe Vita on Capitol Hill, where Dani worked for many years. They’ve gotten to work together a lot since then, (Mighty-O even delivered pies to wholesale accounts for High 5 Pie for a while!) and share experiences as they built their businesses. Mighty-O will be an exciting and much anticipated addition to Capitol Hill and a perfect next step for the beautiful space at our little corner of The Hill.

Continue reading

Panel: Ending youth detention starts with making new 12th/Alder facility adaptable to other uses


Conceptual sketch of the approved Children and Family Justice Center.

Controversial plans to replace the crumbling youth jail at 12th and Alder may be moving forward, but officials are already anticipating the day when it won’t be used for youth detention at all.

In a report reviewed by City Council members Monday, members of an expert panel said the best way to stem racial disparities in the new King County Children and Family Justice Center would be to work towards ending the practice of youth detention altogether. That means building a new facility that could one day serve other uses.

“In its place, government should focus on community-run and neighborhood-based alternatives for youth that are adequately resourced to address youth needs …” the report read. Continue reading

Born at the farmers market, Rachel’s Ginger Beer ready for Capitol Hill homecoming

IMG_3276One of the best examples of the Broadway Farmers Market as a launchpad for Seattle food and drink entrepreneurs comes home to Capitol Hill Friday as Rachel’s Ginger Beer opens in the 12th Ave Arts building on 12th just north of E Pine.

The new RGB will keep 12 to 12 hours daily and supply the Hill with a multitude of french fries, soft serve, and a steady flow of Rachel Marshall’s spicy ginger beer along with her signature slushy cocktails. The all-ages daytime into nighttime venue features a patio and is filled with a greenhouse’s worth of plants.

Marshall’s places, she has said, cater to customers within a few blocks. For neighbors looking forward to being able to easily fill a growler of ginger beer, the walk — or ride with your growler basket — will be worth it.

RGB was born at a table at the Broadway Farmers Market and was part of the space at Marshall’s Montana on E Olive Way before she moved manufacturing to SoDo. The first RGB shop opened in July 2013 in Pike Place Market, Meanwhile, Marshall’s Nacho Borracho brought slushy margaritas and Monica Dimas’s in-house taqueria Neon Taco to Broadway in 2014. Dimas is in charge of the frites-focused RGB 12th Ave menu, too.

The new RGB joins U:Don Fresh Noodle Station and its “hand-made, fresh Sanuki-style udon noodle bowls” and Pel Meni Seattle Dumpling Tzar in the new building dedicated to a mix of theater space, nonprofit office space, and affordable housing. U:Don was first to open earlier this spring. The folks at Pel Meni said they hope to complete construction and be open by the end of July in time for Capitol Hill Block Party.

Last year when CHS first reported on the plan for RGB to join the new 12th Ave Arts building, Marshall said she and business partner Adam Peters made the decision to join the Capitol Hill Housing development as part of a calculated next step in the continued growth of the company.

“It’s absolutely a part of our longterm plan,” she said. “We invested a lot in infrastructure
and a lot of resources to ramp up RGB production.”

Marshall said that more than 70 employees now work across her various ventures.

RGB Capitol Hill opens Friday at 1620 12th Ave. It will be open noon to 12 AM daily. You can learn more at

UPDATE: Here’s what it looks like inside:

(Images: CHS)

Marshall (Images: CHS)

Continue reading

With pastry popular from Tirana to Istanbul, Byrek and Baguette opens on 12th Ave

Eva Gjekmarkaj (Image: CHS)

Eva Gjekmarkaj (Image: CHS)

Natalie Gjekmarkaj behind the counter (Image: Byrek and Baguette)

Natalie Gjekmarkaj behind the counter (Image: Byrek and Baguette)

Natalie Gjekmarkaj knows how to make byrek, said by some to be among the best street food in the world. Now, she has brought the recipe and its secrets to 12th Ave.

“My home country Albania — byrek. Even in Italy, Croatia, Serbia… If you go in Turkey it’s a big deal, too,” Gjekmarkaj tells CHS.

Quietly the newest part of 12th Ave’s Seattle U-proximate food and drink scene, Byrek and Baguette has opened near the corner of E Columbia inside a former Vietnamese restaurant. There, you’ll find a deli case full of byrek and Gjekmarkaj baking away to fill orders from what has become a bit of a booming business providing her flaky creations for business lunch delivery.

The byrek is intended to be a savory, light pastry. “It’s a very light dough and you need to work it about three times and keep it very thin,” Gjekmarkaj says. Her fillings are simple. She currently offers six: Continue reading

20 years of independence at Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum comes as director plans exit

Lyall Bush at the forum's 20th anniversary gala (Image: Elisa Huerta-Enochian with permission to CHS)

Lyall Bush at the NWFF’s 20th anniversary gala. He’s stepping down as director of the nonprofit in September.  (Image: Elisa Huerta-Enochian with permission to CHS)

For 20 years, the Northwest Film Forum has gathered people on Capitol Hill around a common love of making, watching, and learning about independent film and executive director Lyall Bush has been there from the beginning. After watching the NWFF grow from a small film equipment collective into an invaluable arts asset for the city and seven years of steering the ship, Bush is now planning an exit for a new director to make their mark.

Bush announced on Thursday he would be stepping down from his post this September.

“You take stock, at that point, and ask what you want to be doing, and in a sense our 20th anniversary is a good chance for the organization to hit the refresh button (so to speak) as well,” Bush told CHS in an email. “It’s a chance for the whole operation to write a new strategic plan, craft new vision, and keep independent filmmaking going for another couple of decades.”

Bush’s announcement came on the same day that writer, director, and NWFF board member Megan Griffiths was announced as the recipient of the 10th annual Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film. Griffiths’ latest film, Lucky Them, featured scenes filmed in the heart of Capitol Hill in 2013.

Even as the city’s biggest force in film seems rejuvenated and as vital as ever on Capitol Hill with its 41st annual festival kicking off here and around Seattle this week, there are no guarantees of sustainability for smaller champions of film arts.

Continue reading